Published On: Thu, Aug 13th, 2015

India seeks $98.6 damages from Nestle over Maggi noodles ban

The Indian government has launched legal action against Nestle, the Swiss manufacturer of Maggi Noodles, following a public health emergency in June when unsafe levels of lead were detected in products.

Seeking damages for “unfair trade practices”, India’s government said on August 12 that it has filed a suit with the country’s top consumer court, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), for 6,400 million rupees ($98.6m) in damages from the Indian arm of the Swiss food giant.

In April, laboratory tests ordered by some state governments found the noodles contained far higher levels of lead than legally allowed. The tests also detected the flavour enhancer chemical monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which is not mentioned in the product’s list of ingredients.

Before Maggi Noddles were banned in the country in June 2015, they were the fastest selling food item in the country, accounting for about 15 billion rupees ($240m) in sales annually, according to reports of the case published by Al Jazeera.

“Our complaint is over their unfair trade practices and the court will now issue them notices to hear their response,” G Gurcharan, additional secretary at the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, told AFP news agency.

A statement from Nestlé read: “In recent months, we had over 2,700 samples of MAGGI Noodles tested by several accredited laboratories both in India and abroad. Each one of these tests have shown lead to be far below the permissible limits,”

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